Interesting pick today by John McCain. Interesting response by Obama and the media. So a quick recap:
Obama is the candidate for change. This is why it is OK for him to have so little Washington experience. America wants something new. I'm good with that - I want something new too. He picks Biden (actually my favorite of the early Democratic contenders) who was one of the youngest people to ever be elected to Congress but now is a career insider. He is in many ways the antithesis to Obama, but he definitely shores up Obama's foreign policy cred. He was probably picked for that very reason.
McCain is being portrayed by Obama as the status quo (I say portrayed because the "agree with Bush 95% of the time stat is a classic example of making statistics say what you want them to say). No question he's an insider. No question there's much less energy behind him. So he picks the ultimate outsider, Governor Palin from Alaska. There's probably some Americans who didn't even realize Alaska is a state! She shores up his conservative credentials and also potentially makes him look like more of a change candidate too. In her (very) brief time in office Palin has become legendary for bucking the party and instituting reform.
I find the early Obama response to Palin's nomination interesting. They say McCain can no longer argue that Obama lacks experience because he has put someone with less experience "one heartbeat away" from the Presidency. Two thoughts on how this argument may backfire:
1. On one hand, this may actually legitimize McCain's argument. If the experience issue wasn't an issue why is Obama glad it has now been refuted by McCain's choice? If it is an issue, it's still an issue McCain wins because he's the Presidential candidate, not Palin. If Obama's best argument is that he has more experience than McCain's VICE President then Obama is in trouble.
2. On the other hand, McCain could cede Obama's point. Palin's inexperience as VP nixes the argument of Obama's inexperience because the VP and President should be considered together. Then, using the same rationale, Obama's selection of Biden negates Obama as the candidate of change. Biden is not a change agent.
What's most interesting is that Obama's main selling point is change but the McCain-Palin ticket has more experience actually instituting change and working across party lines. In a different election year this would be their selling point. On the other hand, McCain's strong suit is stability and security. As a ticket, Obama-Biden is more stable and secure and has more foreign policy experience. The VP picks of both candidates may significantly alter the dynamics of the whole race.
None of this is an endorsement of either candidate, just observations from a political junkie